Celebrations as great-gran Jessie reaches 100

Jessie Rogan, who was born in Lower Hopton Mirfield, celebrated her 100th birthday last week.
Jessie Rogan, who was born in Lower Hopton Mirfield, celebrated her 100th birthday last week.
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A great-grandmother who spent nearly eighty years living in Mirfield has celebrated her centenary birthday.

Jessie Rogan, affectionately known as Grannie Jessie, had family and friends join her for a party at the care home where she now lives in West Sussex.

Jessie Rogan, who was born in Lower Hopton Mirfield, celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

Jessie Rogan, who was born in Lower Hopton Mirfield, celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

Despite being miles away from her Yorkshire roots, she enjoyed a bash which marked her heritage, joining a band and her guests for a rousing rendition of On Ilkla Moor Baht’at.

Grannie Jessie was born on November 20, 1915 in Lower Hopton, the fourth child of Ben Alan and Hannah Dyson.

She had three elder brothers - Frank. Albert, who died of pneumonia before she was born, and Jack. She was also followed by younger sister Reenie.

Like many of the men in the area, Jessie’s father Ben worked on the railways.

Jessie Rogan, who was born in Lower Hopton Mirfield, celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

Jessie Rogan, who was born in Lower Hopton Mirfield, celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

From the playground at Hopton School she could see the train track and often ran to the railings to wave to her dad when his train passed by.

She also recalls using his ‘privilege tickets’ to travel to and from the local swimming baths.

Jessie grew up in a close-knit family. She remembers her great aunt Ann often asking her to take flowers to the local war memorial in memory of Jessie’s uncles Percy, George Harry and Wentworth who were all killed in the First World War.

After school, Jessie started work as a weaver at a Walkers Blankets mill.

She met her husband Harry, aged 21, at a dance at the Armoury in Nettleton Road.

Her son Philip Rogan said: “They married in 1942, a wartime ‘austerity’ wedding. The cost of the reception at The Vale in Mirfield was 4 guineas.”

After marriage, Jessie worked in the office at Rogan and Dawson. She and Harry rented a house in Lower Hopton, where Philip was born in 1947. Jessie left her job to become a homemaker and care for him.

Mr Rogan said: “They had a dream to own their own home and dad, his father and an architect drew up plans for a new house.

“Mum did not have much input to the design as she couldn’t see it ever being completed.

“However, it was constructed on Crowlees Road and was the first house to be built in Mirfield after the war.”

The couple moved in to the home on Philip’s fifth birthday in 1952.

Philip married his wife Sylvia in 1972 and they too bought a house in Mirfield.

When they later moved to Birmingham for work in 1978, Jessie and Harry left their family home and moved in to Philip’s Mirfield property, where they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

Jessie lived in Mirfield until October 2002 when, having lost Harry in 1999, she decided she could no longer live on her own.

She left the county to move in with Philip and Sylvia, who were living in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

Earlier this year Jessie, who still gets a copy of the Dewsbury and Mirfield Reporter delivered to her every week, moved to Forest View care home.

It was there she spent her 100th birthday with Philip, Sylvia, her three grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and other family and friends including her nephew Richard and his wife Tineke who travelled thousands of miles from their home in Edmonton, Canada to see her.

Mr Rogan said: “Mum’s good health and longevity are attributed to ‘good old Yorkshire grit and determination’ and also being cared for and surrounded by her family.”